Post by Anna Boom
Let me be upfront and share that a few of us are certified running coaches. So as I write and you read, know that I don't have a hidden agenda. Not all people want someone telling them what to do but if you are someone who is looking for some different motivation or respond well to having a peer mentor, then having a coach may be right for you.
How do you decide if it is right for you? Or is it worth the money? Both great questions and what I ask when I am deciding, well any decision, really.
Consider the following checklist:
-Do you like having someone else take your goals and draw out a simple or detailed plan for you to follow? If yes, I would recommend a coach.
-How well do you take direction from another peer? If very well, I would look into finding a women's running coach.
-How precise is your goal? With this question, I mean, are you trying to run between a 3:40 - 3:45 marathon or trying to improve your 5Km run by a minute or trying to hit your Personal Record, PR on a half marathon. These are specific goals that a coach can help with. If you are looking to finish without injury, you could hire a coach or just go find a generic training plan on line.
Let's say you've decided to hire a women's running coach. You're next task is to see if you fit together and yes, this is important. We all have different personalities and respond to different methods. If you don't fit, make sure your coach knows. You will not hurt her feelings, I promise. It is better to be upfront, get the right coach and thrive, rather than worrying about offending the woman. Trust me, if it isn't right for you, it will not be right for her either.
Post by Jannine Myers
Why hire a running coach?
When I first began to seriously run long distances I was like a baby taking my first steps. I wanted to run before I walked, and the more steps I took the more my excitement was fueled. I had no idea at the time that there could possibly be so much to learn about something we all instinctively know how to do, and yet as I began to immerse myself in "running talk" with my new running friends, a whole new world started to open up to me.
Being a naturally competitive person, unable to do things half-heartedly, I went from running 5k races, to running a full marathon within seven or eight months. I won a third place award in my second 5k race, and although my finish time in my first marathon wasn't anything to boast about, I have a picture from that race which sits on one of our walls and serves as a benchmark from which I have been able to set all of my latter race goals. Since that very first marathon I've learned many things from many friends, as well as from websites and books, and also from experienced coaches I've been fortunate enough to meet along the way.
One thing I've also learned, is that people run for all kinds of reasons. Some run for pure enjoyment and set no goals or agendas for themselves, while others run with a set purpose in mind. Those who tie goals into their running tend to fall into one of two categories: a) they're self-starters who like to take full control of their training plans, based upon the research they do themselves or their own past experience, or b) they thrive best under supervised conditions where someone else is in control and providing step-by-step instructions (coaching can be an invaluable resource for this type of runner).
Since WOOT was formed in early 2010, we have seen our membership grow from a meager ten or so women, to more than four hundred. The steady growth of members has resulted in a collective group of female runners with vastly different levels of speed and experience, and many of the newer runners often seek tips from their more advanced running peers. Anna and I love that "sharing" aspect of WOOT, but we also recognize that some women might be looking for a little more than friendly advice.
While WOOT will always remain a purely social running network with no intention other than to draw female runners together, we are now also introducing a side service for women who wish to pay for coaching services. WOOTcoaching.com is not something we wish to impose upon any of our members who do not want or require coaching, but it has been set up to meet the needs of those who do want professional guidance.
If you are interested in this new service, please visit our website for more information: http://wootcoaching.com/, or you may contact either Anna or myself at the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com.